The shopping experience is getting a new upgrade and if you have been paying close attention, there is a huge possibility that you may have noticed the shift towards vintage and pre-owned merch. It helps that the app many of us tend to use the most has contributed vastly to this new mode of shopping. Enter labels that function solely on Instagram and have steadily ushered in the rise of re-wear over the past year; everything you need for your wardrobe is a click away.
A few months before the pandemic hit, I had decided to work my way towards a minimalistic wardrobe, purchasing something only if there was a solid requirement. The decision led to a year of no-buy, mostly because my existing closet was sufficient for the time being. I would keep a check on the websites, mostly for work and to see what was new on the scene. And then, of course, once I was cooped up indoors, Instagram became a major way to check for updates, keep in touch with friends.
It was during those early months that I also began to notice some labels of a new kind, ones which would sell second-hand, vintage (or a mix of both) finds at really affordable prices. Moreover, they seemed to be functioning out of Instagram alone, with no affiliation to a dedicated website or any multi-brand store. I was intrigued, not only because it was a whole new thing but also because of its added bonus of promoting circular, responsible fashion. I decided to keep a check to see how authentic and practical a method of shopping it turned out to be.
I began by simply hitting the follow button on whichever one of these profiles stood out for me. A top contender and a personal favourite was Folkpants, which offered both vintage and pre-owned finds, stellar outfits shot against some really cool backdrops. Soon, I was following more of them and began to understand the way most of these labels functioned. The process was simple—they dropped new collections, exclusively on their Insta pages and you could book/purchase what you liked. The only trouble was how quickly it would all be sold out (some within minutes)!
I waited till I really needed something of utility and that option arrived by means of a coat! For someone who loves snug outerwear and requires it in the biting cold of Delhi winter, it was the perfect fit. I stumbled upon it by chance on a page called Lv Closet and in a departure from its sold-out status, it was available. It was a colour I wanted, was the fit I needed and was super affordable and I spent 700 bucks in total. The store, as most of its kind on Instagram, took the payment via a bank transfer, and the blue textured coat was with me in 10 days!
For me, the entire process was rather seamless. Once I had selected the piece and made an inquiry, the person on the other end of the messages was kind enough to take me through it, step by step, and any additional questions in terms of fit, close-up pictures and delivery were answered. It arrived good as new and looked even better than I had expected! Here are some things I learnt from shopping for pre-owned apparel on Instagram:
—Follow profiles which put up merch that matches your personal style; it’s not about ‘the more, the merrier’ approach here.
—Once you do, you will find that there are regular drops where stores introduce collections for shopping, mostly pertaining to the season or a certain occasion.
—Most Instagram stores inform viewers well in advance about an upcoming drop so make sure you check stories for updates and set up alerts.
—If a particular drop is not for you, you can always mute it for the time being.
—The process is fairly simple; you can message them with an enquiry about whether a certain style is available and order it.
—The catch is that everything sells out real fast, real soon! So make sure you don't mull over and make up your mind quickly.
—Many are open about sizes and details but in case you want more information or pics, ask for it before making the final decision.
—Remember that these are vintage or pre-owned finds so there will be a certain degree of difference when compared to store or online purchase made at a brand. Fortunately, you will be informed about whatever flaws and defects there are.
—They are carefully packed and delivered with all cleanliness intact, but to rest assured, you can wash them once or get them dry-cleaned.
—Google Pay is a prominent mode of payment, as are bank transfers, so make sure you are ready on that front.
—Ask for your order’s shipping details to avoid hassle later.
—Remember that it is non-refundable, so make your purchase count.
—And just because it’s out there, it doesn’t call for hoarding up! Shop what really appeals to you or what your closet requires.
—Thinking of trying it out? Folkpants, The Fine Finds, The Local Vintage, Vintage Jewellery and Lusthrift are a few names, to begin with.
As for me, I have been wearing the latest addition to my wardrobe on repeat, from going out for a walk to working it in a Zoom call or simply layering it on. I intend to rewear it for the days ahead, as should you when you find that one perfect fit. Maybe it will be on Instagram, the next time!
Featured Image: Instagram